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November 11, 2021 1:33 PM

Best Practices for Staying Healthy Throughout the Winter

(November 11, 2021) – The days are getting shorter and colder while the prevalence of respiratory infections including common cold, flu, strep and COVID continues to increase.

San Miguel County Public Health encourages residents and visitors alike to consider how they care for their health, lifestyle, social lives and more to maintain normalcy during times of uncertainty.

“The pandemic has certainly taken a toll on physical, mental and emotional health for many of us,” said Public Health Director Grace Franklin. “As we commit to regaining a sense of normalcy, caring for ourselves is essential. Our well-being relies on many things like getting vaccinated as well as paying special attention to eating habits, exercise and personal health.”

When considering how to stay healthy during the winter, it is important to look at habits and take special care of your personal needs. Public Health encourages everybody to prepare a personal winter season health and wellness plan:

• Get vaccinated against COVID-19 and other vaccine-preventable diseases such as the flu. The vaccine is the best protection available for each person, their loved ones, and the community.

• Get moving. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advise that adults get 150 minutes of exercise weekly, though some physical activity is better than none. Walking, lifting weights, hiking or cross-country skiing are great activities to get moving.

• Keep a strict bedtime routine. Getting enough sleep is not a luxury—it is something people need for good health. Prioritizing rest can help prevent chronic diseases and conditions such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, obesity, and depression.
• Eat regular, nutritious meals. Incorporating healthy, nutrient-dense foods, like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and local protein, contributes to a diverse diet and risk of related chronic diseases. Healthy eating boosts immunity, supports muscles, strengthens bones, and may help a person live long.

• Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to electronic devices and social media. It’s good to be informed but hearing about the pandemic constantly can be upsetting. Consider limiting news to just a couple times a day and disconnecting from phone, television, and computer screens for a while.

• Practice self-care. It’s important to take care of family and friends, but it should be balanced with care for oneself. Taking breaks to unwind through yoga, music, gardening, reading a book or finding a new hobby can help support a healthy mindset and, in turn, a healthy life.

• Connect with others. People are generally social by nature, and high-quality social relationships can help them live longer, healthier lives. Additionally, talking with trusted friends and family about concerns and feelings can help relieve stress, anxiety and uneasiness surrounding the pandemic and other stressful factors influencing one’s mental health.

• Ask for help if you or your family need it. Call a healthcare provider if stress gets in the way of daily activities for several days in a row. Free and confidential crisis resources can also help any person or a loved one connect with a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

Resources are available for those working through mental, emotional, or physical health troubles. For more information and resources specific to individual needs, reach out to Public Health via email at

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